Previous month:
March 2021
Next month:
May 2021

April 2021

Should You Be A Business Owner

Copy of Copy of 05 - BONUS_ Audio & Podcast Promo Templates - Alpha Collection - The Viral Content Club™ by Viral Marketing Stars®️ -2

Should You Be A Business Owner?

In September of 2001, I made my first decisive business decision. I quit my job to start a mobile pet grooming pet business. In 2001, it was a young industry with no success stories. (Yet)

What I had going for me was motivation, excitement, and a willingness to learn.

As I look back over the years, I can identify some traits that contributed to the success of my business. Some of these traits were a natural gift, but many others were a learned skill. Here are my four of my business lessons.

  1. I am responsible for my attitude. Blaming others or circumstances will not solve the problem. Viewing setbacks as an opportunity to find a solution is a necessary business skill. It is easier to act rather than react if I take the time to plan a business manual that outlines policies and procedures with checklists for probable problems. Realize that I will not be everyone’s cup of tea and develop thicker skin when dealing with unhappy clients. When I demonstrate excitement about my business, that positive attitude is infectious. I will not expect those around me to be excited to be my client if they see I am unhappy.
  1. I will make decisions. Right or wrong. Right will propel me forward and wrong will teach a lesson. Remember that roads are littered with dead squirrels who couldn’t make a decision to go or stay. The more you practice making quick, decisive decisions, the better you will get at them. I will take the time to understand my strengths and weaknesses. I will build on my strengths and hire out or learn to circumvent my weaknesses. I understand that I do not have to do everything, delegate responsibility whenever feasible.
  1. This is my business that I have clearly defined visions and goals. Uncertainty is also contagious. If I can’t visualize where I want my business to go, then creativity and imagination dry up. Perseverance is difficult when you don’t know what direction to go in. I will take the time the organize every aspect of my business and make an operating manual. Something that I can refer back to whenever I feel a little stuck and need guidance.
  1. I will operate my business fairly and with integrity, including myself. I will value continuing education and seek help from those more knowledgeable when necessary.

For best results- repeat daily.

--

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader.

You can contact Mary by dropping a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com


Setting Boundaries

Copy of [66] 22 Quotes Viral Content Templates [MASTER FILE]

Setting Boundaries In Your Business

When we were sitting down with the builders to design our home in Washington, I made some special requests regarding the placement of my office. Specifically, I wanted my office at the other end of the house. The more doors between my office and the living space, the better.

I needed my office to be separate from the home. I was setting a boundary.

We all hear how important it is to establish boundaries, but why is it so important.

I love this quote by Brene Brown. “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why, we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful then addressing a behavior or a choice.”

 

Boundaries keeps emotion from taking over. Drama in the workplace, whether it stems from clients or employees is exhausting. Setting and enforcing expectations from either can prevent incidents instead of escalating them.

Boundaries can keep us from resenting our business. If, as a business owner, you dread going to work, the business is no longer your passion. It becomes a job.

You can set boundaries by defining acceptable behavior from your clients, employees, as well as your family and friends that is positive, respectful, and productive.  There is great value in a closed door that people around you honor.

Establishing clear communications through policy and procedure forms and waivers for clients, and detailed expectations in employee manuals will set realistic and expected behavior for those all around. Include If This- Then That rules of conduct.

For example:

If a client insults or berates one of your employees, then they are no longer welcome in your establishment.

If an employee calls out on a regular basis, then they need to find alternate employment.

You get the idea.

In addition, set boundaries with yourself that includes establishing morning and evening routines, as well as regular self-care.

Don’t let your business become a job.

--

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader.

You can contact Mary by dropping a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com


Recognizing The Red Flag Client

Copy of Copy of 05 - BONUS_ Audio & Podcast Promo Templates - Alpha Collection - The Viral Content Club™ by Viral Marketing Stars®️ -2 copy 2

Recognizing The Red Flag Client

There is a cost to your business when you either ignore of don’t recognize a red flag in a client. We’ve all been there and kicked ourselves when we booked that “How bad could it really be client.” For ease of math, any examples I use will assume the groom was $100 and it took you an hour.

These include:

  1. Your time spent appeasing them or dealing with the fallout. If this was a non-red flag client, then this pet brought $100 into your business and you’ve spent one hour of your time. But you’ve just spent one hour on the phone with a complaint and other hour responding to social media and reviews. That’s 3 hours and that $100 an hour is now $33 an hour. If it escalates further, will your business make minimum wage or will it even cost you money?
  2. A hit to morale of yourself and staff. Then add it emotional distress caused by abusive clients.

What are some red flags?

  1. Questioning your pricing. Or the place down the street charges this amount. Or I’ve never paid more than this amount. Or would you do it for this price.

Have you ever had your doctor give you a price break because you scheduled both your kids at the same? I bet that’s a no. Have you ever pulled up to gas station and announced what you’re paying per gallon or request a discount because you’re filling up? Probably not. We shouldn’t treat our business like an episode of Let’s Make A Deal.
“Our prices are not negoitable and are dependent on the condition and behavior of your pet.”

  1. The client tells you what day they will be there and when they will drop off and pick up. The only person making policy and scheduling is you.

When I needed my stove repaired, I was given the next available day and time and my option was to take it or one further out that was more convenient for me. Didn’t matter that my stove was broke and I couldn’t use the oven until it was fixed. That was my problem to figure out, not the technicians.
“These are my available appointments. Would you like to book? We require a non-refundable deposit to hold this appointment. How would you like to pay?”

  1. They don’t know what they want or use vague terms they don’t understand what they mean. However, this can be an easily remedied problem with clear communication between you and the owner, as well as having the correct waivers and detailed signed terms of service. Never end a conversation with I’ll do my best. That client now assumes you will do as they asked. If this pet needs to shaved, I use the world naked. Set those boundaries and parameters of your business.
  2. Chasing payment. For me, this happens once. After that, credit card and authorization are kept on file within my payment portal. Let’s go back to that $100 dog. If you spend another 2 hours chasing payment, how much are you really making. (It’s $33 an hour) Or you could have groomed 2 more at $100 a pop.
  3. They inform you their pet is just playfully nippy. Or would only bite if you hurt them. Or outright tells you their pet is aggressive, but that’s your job. “Your pet may require a second groomer. It that’s the case, you will incur this fee. Sign here.” If it’s a $100 groom and you have to pay 2 groomers, one of which could be grooming their own $100 pet, that’s more like $50 an hour.
  4. You get a bad feeling. Trust your gut. Millions of years of evolution is not wrong. You do not have to groom every pet. As a mobile groomer, if I was already at someone’s home, I used the water pump is not working, I will call and reschedule. I guarantee they’ll know why you haven’t called them. Take your safety seriously. Make a show of turning the video on you phone. “You are making me uncomfortable. I will be recording our conversation from here on. My phone automatically uploads to my cloud-based storage.”

Experience is a great teacher, but it is all hindsight. Get in the practice of recognizing and weeding out red flaggers. Put your policies and protocols on your website. Have potential clients fill out and accept your terms of service before you even make that first appointment. There are almost 90 million dogs and 77 million cats in the US.

You do not have to groom every single pet that calls to make an appointment.

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader.

You can contact Mary by dropping a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com


Noticed A Change In Behavior?

Copy of Copy of 05 - BONUS_ Audio & Podcast Promo Templates - Alpha Collection - The Viral Content Club™ by Viral Marketing Stars®️ -2

As groomers, we see client's pets on average every six or so weeks. I feel this is the perfect amount of time to notice something that owners may miss because owners see their pet's every day.

What may be a minuscule difference in behavior when seen on a daily basis, will appear huge to a groomer who has not seen this pet in weeks. 

Many times, a change in behavior is one of the early signs of an underlying medical condition. And let’s remember that early detection means early intervention. Early intervention can increase survival rates or decrease recovery.

Some examples of change in behavior:

  • Brownie was a sweet, lovely Shih Tzu. I could do anything to this boy. On one occasion he was snappy. Very snappy. I called the owners to come pick him up and reschedule him. Brownie's owners informed me that the day before their home was burglarized and the intruders terrorized Brownie. The owners thought a change of scenery with someone he loved would be better than staying at home. Brownie was suffering from PTSD. We stopped grooming and let him just hang out with us while the owners cleaned up the mess at home. The following grooming, he was back to his normal self.
  • The opposite of Brownie was Princess. Princess was a handful. We nicknamed her the "Pterodactyl." She could fly and nail you at the same time. Except for one groom is which she was very complacent. In case you're wondering, I finished that groom. It was the only time in her entire life (15 years) that she was a pleasure to groom. I mentioned it to the owners and they had her vetted. Turned out to be the beginnings of a medical problem for which they were able to treat.
  • Casey was also a very good boy for grooming. He was a large golden retriever. He always was very social. When he looked a little withdraw and cautious around his legs, we told the owners that it wasn't like Casey not to be wagging his tail the entire time he was here. Owners started Casey on some joint supplements and by the next groom he was better.

So, the point is, don't ignore subtle changes in the behavior of the pets we groom. None of these changes in any of these pets were noticed by the owners. The longer a health issue goes undiagnosed, the less likely there will be a full recovery.

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader.

You can contact Mary by dropping a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com